We get it – high school students are busy. On top of school, sports, clubs, and regular homework, additional test prep homework can seem daunting. Watch the video below and read on to learn more about how much homework students should expect per week, and why homework is critical to improving students' test scores.
Test Prep Homework: Critical to a Student’s Success
Homework is just one piece of the A+ Test Prep program, but it is one that is critical to the student’s progress toward improving her test scores. She can expect about two hours of homework per week. Homework consists of taking real SAT and ACT practice exams, reading and doing exercises in the A+ course books, and sometimes doing additional practice exercises covering topics for which the tutor feels she needs additional practice.
Working on test prep homework throughout the week will set the student up for success during his next tutoring session. Taking practice exams at home is an important part of the A+ program because it gives the student the opportunity to familiarize himself with content, question types, section pacing, overall exam time management, and guessing strategies. The student then scores his practice tests online, and his tutor reviews the results in advance of the next session, allowing the tutor to tailor the focus of the session to address his specific needs.
Homework measures the student’s progress over time, helping the tutor determine how well the student is understanding content and implementing test-taking strategies, and whether scores in particular areas are improving. If a student has been consistently struggling with certain question types, the tutor can monitor improvement in that focused area. Conversely, if a student shows a clear pattern of grasping certain grammatical or math concepts, for example, the tutor can spend less time reinforcing those points and shift the focus to areas of weakness.
Homework Tips for Students
One of the biggest advantages of one-to-one tutoring is the ability to customize each session. The student’s performance on his homework will help his tutor design each lesson to make it as helpful and effective as possible. It is therefore very important that the student complete homework under optimal conditions and not just “get it done.” Here are some tips for students to help ensure that their homework truly reflects their development:
- Take practice tests on weekends or after school – not late at night when you are tired and worn down from the day.
- Unplug and focus solely on the homework – that means not checking cell phones for social media updates, answering text messages, or watching TV in the background.
- Don't procrastinate – complete homework in advance of the next tutoring session rather than in a rushed manner just before the session so the tutor has a true measure of how well you are grasping the material.
- Note things in the course book that you find difficult or confusing and flag questions in the practice tests that you find challenging so that you can discuss those issues with your tutor in the next session.